While We Slept – Our Memoir

While We Slept: Finding Hope and Healing After Homicide - A Memoir -

In 2005, my husband and I woke up to the murder of his mother, Mary Ann Larsen-Pusey, by his father, Clinton Pusey, while we slept down the hall. 

It was a long hall. Long enough that Mary Ann sometimes called us from her mother-in-law suite rather than walk down it. We shared this home for a few months while we were all in transition: Us, into newly married life and them into newly retired life. They were packing their belongings and moving to Clinton’s native Colombia. 

That morning was a shock to us all, Clinton included. He has no memory of that morning, except for a few random, seemingly unimportant tasks he accomplished. 

As a writer at heart, I process my world through writing about it. Years of private entries fill my journals. My husband sent emails and letters to inquiring friends and family. And after some time, with some feedback from new friends, “old” friends, and a couple of family members, we realized we had a story that wasn’t meant to be selfishly hidden away. 

You see, we desperately love Clinton. And we have had to work through the grief, anger, loss, confusion, disappointment, fear, shock, resentment, and pain of losing two parents at once: one to death and the other to the criminal system. A journalist once asked us how we were doing so well. He had seen many tragedies and families break up, fall into addiction, and even commit suicide in hard such as ours. This made us realize that perhaps our grief journey was different. Perhaps, even amidst great suffering, there was hope. 

And what if we could share this hope with others? And what if people could also find forgiveness, reconciliation, reunification, and joy after such heartache as we three have? Dare we hoard this gift to ourselves? 

Well, I tried. It’s a hard story to tell. It’s a scary story to tell. Not because of the details but because of the love we have for Clinton. A deep desire to see him free from harm. But as we researched, we found that a simple Google Search for either of their names led people to graphic news articles telling a superficial, surface-level version of our life story. A wife-killer ruled insane. 

But Jeremy’s dad is far, far more than this. 

What if we could add our voice to the digital conversation about who he is? It would mean detailing the truth of that morning, yes, but it would also mean detailing life leading up to that point and the marvel of life beyond. It would mean restoring dignity to a man worthy of the love and affection of his family simply because he is

Thus, we release our story of redemption into the world. Not that we can redeem, but that by God’s grace, He has wrapped all this pain into a story of glory, mercy, and compassion. Redemption. Beauty from ashes. Pain that has sharpened us into deeper, more connected people. 

So we invite you into our story. The painful, the hard, the grief… and the joy, the restoration, the recovery, and the sweet mercies that only God can unveil. ,

5/5
"Ok. So I finished the book. All I can say is WOW. Wow, not just because I had no idea any of this stuff happened in your life, but also wow because your writing is wonderful. You really made me love Jeremy's mother. All the scenes you show of her, her interaction with others, the bottle collecting, and all the quotes people provided. They all work together perfectly. Then the details about Jeremy's father. Well, since my husband's father suffered from dementia and I know how confused they can get, I could already relate to his issues. And by the end of the book, I forgave him too. I also like that I learned so much about you and Jeremy along the way. The more I get to know, the more I adore you. Kind hearts and lots of strength. Unfortunately the Kindle version doesn't show the newspaper articles so I missed out on those pages [they are in the print version]. But it didn't matter. This book is very well written and although I had to cry during Chapter 19, "My House, My Crime Scene," I didn't feel that the book was overly depressing. You accomplished what I think you set out to do: To document a very sad story but to also offer uplifting moments and hope. So, although it sounds weird to say this, since the story comes from your tragic experience, congrats on this book. For those who love true crime books, it will remind them behind a sensationalized story, there are real people who are hurting and trying to find their way through grief. For those who like inspirational or spiritual writing, it certainly covers that as well. And, maybe most of all, for all those who watched the news, those in your former neighborhood, anyone who knew your family, it sets the record straight and tells the truth. It was very brave of you to write this book and I admire your ability to open yourself up to the world (even if opening old wounds) in order to help others who might go through a similar experience."
"A Little Redemption in the Here and Now: We don't often hear about homicides, unless they're exceptional by virtue of the number of victims or perhaps the brutality of the crime. Even less frequently do we hear of how the survivors continue with their lives and search for some sort of resolution. Marcy Pusey gives us a glimpse into the life after homicide, with all the attendant pain, memory attacks, and doubts. It's hard to read about a man unraveling just enough to commit an atrocity and its effects on his immediate family, but to see how by staying open to God's healing and redemption rather than chasing the mirage of security, the tantalizing but unattainable certitude of "never again," Marcy and her family were able to find closure not in punishment and revenge, but love and redemption. It is inspirational to see a family transformed and a man regained, if not to complete health and restoration, at least to dignity and love. If you've experienced a homicide in your family, some of the descriptions of what happened, while not gratuitously graphic, might still make you uncomfortable. Even for those like me who have never had to deal with such an event, imagining the event is unsettling. But there's power and hope in that: if Marcy and her family could rise from the ashes, with God's help, the so can others. And perhaps, so can we, as a society: learning to forgive and re-embrace even the worst of sinners and thus re-framing the debate about homicides that seems to have run aground on the shoals of quick fixes. Despite the heavy topic, "While We Slept" is indeed a book of hope and redemption worth reading for anyone who has ever stopped and wondered why anyone would kill and what could be done about it."
"Wow! A Story of Forgiveness: While We Slept is proof that God is good and forgiveness is real. Marcy writes her family’s story in such a way that draws you in, with delicate strength and dignity. I had a hard time putting it down. Even though the topic is difficult to digest, it is one of the best books I have ever had the opportunity to read. She introduces her family, including her father-in-law, and his relationship with his son, Jeremy, and, all of his extended family with so much love, kindness and unity, even with the tragic events that led up to writing this book. There is so much family division in this world, and the sweet way that Marcy shares the Pusey’s story is evident that forgiveness and restoration is possible, even in the worst situation. I would recommend While We Slept because, while it is a documentary on the events in the Pusey family’s life, it is also written in the way of great storytellers and keep the reader involved and wanting more."
"This Should Be A Movie! I was skeptical when someone told me about this book. I love true crime and memoirs...but I was doubtful the forgiveness part of this story would seem believable. I was wrong! Great story and once you read it, you will totally see how real and honest they are about how they could forgive. It all makes sense. I think a studio should make the whole thing into a movie!"

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